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WORLD ORGANIC NEWS - mrjonmoore - Conservation Farming, Permaculture, organic gardening, organic farming, renewable energy, Climate Change.


Jun 18, 2017

Links

CONTACT:  podcast@worldorganicnews.com

New “Instantly Rechargeable” Flow Battery could Dramatically Change EV Market — Great Things from Small Things .. Nanotechnology Innovation

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-ftX

Old Energy Left Behind — Equivalent of 7 Gigafactories Already Under Construction; Tesla Plans 10-20 More — GarryRogers Nature Conservation

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fvj

Ode to a little stream – Off Grid Power, Part 2: Micro-Hydro — through the luminary lens

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fvW

Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapor: Breakthrough by RMIT Researchers — Great Things from Small Things .. Nanotechnology Innovation

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fwZ

****

This is the World Organic News for the week ending 19th of June 2017.

Jon Moore reporting!

Back in episode 67 I spoke about the need to replace fossil fuels as the the first big step we could take to start solving our global and local issues of concern. I summarised the current situation thusly:

Quote:

Climate change appears to be accelerating, we are bathed in chemicals from the 1950s, antidepressants could be endemic in the biosphere, the politics of our times point to towards the greater possibility of nuclear war, industrial agriculture is creating antibiotic resistant pathogens and we have huge numbers of refugees on the move across the globe.

End Quote.

All of these issues except for, perhaps, nuclear annihilation, were related to fossil fuel use.

This week we bring good news in this respect.

The big problem with renewables has always been intermittency and our reliance on large grids to deliver electricity. The energy density of storage has been the problem. This can be divided into two broad areas. Battery capacity and time to recharge said batteries.

We start with a post from the blog Great Things from Small Things. Nanotechnology Innovation entitled: New “Instantly Rechargeable” Flow Battery could Dramatically Change EV Market — Great Things from Small Things.

Quote:

Purdue researchers have developed technology for an “instantly rechargeable” battery that is affordable, environmentally friendly, and safe. Currently, electric vehicles need charging ports in convenient locations to be viable, but this battery technology would allow drivers of hybrid and electric vehicles to charge up much like drivers of conventional cars refill quickly and easily at gas stations.

This breakthrough would not only speed the switch to electric vehicles by making them more convenient to drive, but also reduce the amount of new supportive infrastructure needed for electric cars dramatically.

End Quote

The possibilities this releases are significant. No longer will electric vehicles, telephones, laptops, basically anything mobile which uses electricity, have to wait for as long as it takes to recharge the batteries. Filling stations, with the same turn around time as petrol stations become a reality. The effect of this is to make electric vehicles, in particular, more like fossil fuel vehicles from a user’s point of view. No longer does the driver have to keep one eye on the charge level calculating how much available power is on hand to get home to the power point. No longer do these filling stations have to rely on a swap out/swap in system of batteries. We pull in attach the power cable, recharge in minutes, pay and drive off.

The magnitude of this is mind boggling. It means the move to much quieter, non-polluting vehicles is now a doable proposition. Part of the problem solved.

A post from GarryRogers Nature Conservation entitled: Old Energy Left Behind — Equivalent of 7 Gigafactories Already Under Construction; Tesla Plans 10-20 More.

The unit cost of batteries, that is, energy storage has been a stumbling block to renewable electrification of the economy. But and this is a big but, change is afoot!

Quote:

“In an interview with Leonardo DiCaprio during late 2016, Elon Musk famously claimed that it would take just 100 Gigafactories to produce enough clean energy to meet the needs of the entire world. As of mid 2017, in the face of an ever-worsening global climate, the equivalent of 7 such plants were already under construction while plans for many more were taking shape on the drawing boards of various clean energy corporations across the globe.

End Quote

Once the economies of scale kick in, the marginal cost of production will fall quickly and this is using existing battery technology. I’m pretty such young Musk will have set his factories up in such a way that the technology breakthroughs from places like Purdue discussed above can be incorporated into the manufacturing process at little cost.

We are, actually this time, on the cusp of great change. Great change driven by as much by price signals and by good intent. By the way price signals always win out. Consider the battle between Beta Max and VHS back in the day. Betamax produced a superior product, apparently but VHS produced a much cheaper product. MP3 vs Vinyl. I could go on but I think the point is made. Once the electric vehicle is at 80% of a fossil fueled vehicle, economies of scale, price signals and popular opinion will kill off the internal combustion engine.

The problem then facing us is the generation of electricity from renewable sources. We have two posts that explore opposite ends of the solution.

The blog “through the luminary lens” brings us the post: Ode to a little stream – Off Grid Power, Part 2: Micro-Hydro. In this post an upgrade of the micro hydro system in conjunction with a set of PV solar cells gets the job done on a remote smallholding. The maths, engineering and construction are impressive. The post show h=what can be done at a household level when the resources are at hand.

The other end of the scale is another post from the blog: Great Things from Small Things .. Nanotechnology Innovation and is entitled Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapor: Breakthrough by RMIT Researchers

In this piece researches at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have developed a paint.

Longish Quote:

Researchers have developed a solar paint that can absorb water vapour and split it to generate hydrogen – the cleanest source of energy.

The paint contains a newly developed compound that acts like silica gel, which is used in sachets to absorb moisture and keep food, medicines and electronics fresh and dry.

But unlike silica gel, the new material, synthetic molybdenum-sulphide, also acts as a semi-conductor and catalyses the splitting of water atoms into hydrogen and oxygen.

Lead researcher Dr Torben Daeneke, from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, said: “We found that mixing the compound with titanium oxide particles leads to a sunlight-absorbing paint that produces hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air.

“Titanium oxide is the white pigment that is already commonly used in wall paint, meaning that the simple addition of the new material can convert a brick wall into energy harvesting and fuel production real estate.

End Quote

Hydrogen, a sometimes forgotten fuel source is very clean, when burned it produces heat and water. Nothing else. Imagine that. Hydrogen can used to create steam like fossil fuels or passed through fuel cells to directly produce electricity.

The future, dear listeners, is looking bright. We are now in a race against time. The CO2 in the atmosphere will take centuries to dissipate if left to its own devices. We can with the technological changes discussed today stop adding to the CO2 load in the atmosphere.

As discussed in many other episodes we can use regenerative agriculture to sequester that carbon in the soil where it belongs, where it helps to feed the world. We are as, I said, on the cusp. Let’s not let this opportunity slip through our fingers this time!

And on that happy note we will end this week’s episode.

If you’ve liked what you heard, please tell everyone you know any way you can! I’d also really appreciate a review on iTunes. This may or may not help others to find us but it gives this podcaster an enormous thrill! Thanks in advance!

Any suggestions, feedback or criticisms of the podcast or blog are most welcome. email me at podcast@worldorganicnews.com.

Thank you for listening and I'll be back in a week.

****

Links

CONTACT:  podcast@worldorganicnews.com

New “Instantly Rechargeable” Flow Battery could Dramatically Change EV Market — Great Things from Small Things .. Nanotechnology Innovation

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-ftX

Old Energy Left Behind — Equivalent of 7 Gigafactories Already Under Construction; Tesla Plans 10-20 More — GarryRogers Nature Conservation

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fvj

Ode to a little stream – Off Grid Power, Part 2: Micro-Hydro — through the luminary lens

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fvW

Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapor: Breakthrough by RMIT Researchers — Great Things from Small Things .. Nanotechnology Innovation

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fwZ